Helmut Marko hints at Ricciardo’s 2024 status but warns: “We have alternatives”

Daniel Ricciardo has been warned by Helmut Marko “we have alternatives” - but he has been backed to claim a full-time 2024 seat.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Practice
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12,…

Ricciardo has raced twice since taking Nyck de Vries’ spot at AlphaTauri but is initially only contracted until the end of this season.

The veteran Australian has been clear that his ultimate goal is to win the 2025 seat at Red Bull, AlphaTauri’s sister team.

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"Of course you have to know from Daniel Ricciardo what his... we know his goals, but how to achieve them, whether he is ready to complete a full year next year at AlphaTauri with full commitment," Red Bull motorsport director Helmut Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.

"The change has had a very positive effect, in terms of mood and motivation in the AlphaTauri team.

"While De Vries' deficit averaged three to five tenths, if you clean it all up, Ricciardo is significantly smaller, if not on par with Yuki Tsunoda.

"We still have nine races left, in these nine races we will see how this develops.

“Tsunoda delivered a very good race at Spa, maybe in the middle sector when it rained lightly, he was a bit too cautious, maybe even a better position would have been possible. 

“Daniel wasn't far from points in the sprint. This direction fits.”

However, Ricciardo must still earn his position in the F1 2024 driver line-up. 

"We have alternatives,” Marko delivered a reminder. 

“For example [Liam] Lawson, who is second in Japan and is very successful there and has made a big leap forward in his whole development since he has been racing in Japan.”

Marko added about Ricciardo’s teammate: "Yuki Tsunoda has steadily improved in and of himself, has his emotions under control for the most part, is now also physically capable of driving through a GP.”

The driver under the most pressure might still be Sergio Perez who has been backed to keep his 2024 Red Bull seat, but knows that Ricciardo is breathing down his neck.

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